“Hedonistic hiking” is the title of an article in a glossy little (“free at selected tourist outlets in Australia” but otherwise $24.95pa) magazine I picked up in Melbourne a couple of months ago. The mag is called essentials magazine: culture, culinary, adventure. Can you tell me how the word “culinary” fits in there syntactically? The issue I picked up (free at some selected outlet obviously) was its – and I quote – “issue 15 mid-spring ‘Chrissy issue’ 2009” edition. What is that? Who is this magazine geared to? Anyhow, the article is essentially (ha!) a promo for gourmet hiking tours in Europe. It caught my eye though because it’s a term that could apply to our annual Thredbo sojourn. We are not campers – and we don’t eat gourmet food on our walks. Rather, we love to bushwalk and then go out and eat (well). Thredbo caters for this predilection of ours in a setting that is both beautiful and compact. We arrive, park our car, check into our lovely studio apartment with its view of the mountains, and then walk and eat to our heart’s delight.
But of course, there is more to this area than hedonism and hiking. Thredbo is in the Snowy Mountains of Australia, the mountains famous for AB Paterson’s “The Man from Snowy River” and Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby series of books to name just two cultural icons from the region. Nearby is the town of Jindabyne, the setting for the rather gut-wrenching Australian film of the same name. It was loosely adapted from a Raymond Carver story titled “So much water so close to home”. As lovely as the mountains are, wireless connection here is iffy so I shall sign off, sit back and sip my Chardonnay while I enjoy the sun setting on Crackenback.
POSTSCRIPT: And there are nods to the cultural heritage here, such as Banjo Drive and the Silver Brumby Lodge in Thredbo, and the Man from Snowy River Hotel in Perisher. It’s rather subtle though – the hints are there but it’s not overdone. And there’s nothing wrong with that in a place that wears its commercial side rather lightly too.